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December 4, 2012 by Jennifer Brandt
Cortes , a 17-year-old twelfth grader from Chicago, was born in Puerto Rico and is now deciding on her college, which is between Occidental College, Northwestern University, Boston University, University of Miami and the University of Iowa. She would like to become an editor or possibly an author after graduation. She fondly remembers reading her first book with her mother and the bond that formed between them. She would like to help others to experience that too.
Cortes was made awared of the New Futuro opportunity by Chicago Scholars, which provided transportation for her and her mother to Navy Pier for the event.
“I would like to thank the 1,463 Facebook friends who liked my picture and for their encouraging comments. I would also like to thank the Hispanic Access Foundaion for his amazing opportunity!” said Cortes. “It is so much help and one less thing to worry about as an entering college freshman. My family and I can’ thank you enough.”
Hispanic Access Foundation participated in the New Futuro college prep fairs because, even though families place a high value on college education, Hispanics are not graduating from college at the rates this country needs for its economic future and prosperity.
How else has Hispanic Access Foundation been involved?
- Executive Director Maite Arce served as an expert panelist on a televised Spanish-language discussion with parents and students regarding meaningful access to college.
- HAF Board Member, Marta Sanchez and Liz Neuenschwander, HAF’s operations manager, gave presentations to parents and students titled, “Family Involvement in Education” and “Pathway to College.”
- H&R Block sponsored HAF’s involvement in the New Futuro events.
November 25, 2012 by Jennifer Brandt
Hispanic Access Foundation takes action to help more Latinos get into college
With Latinos now making up nearly a quarter of the 18-and-under population in the country and projected to grow, the importance of promoting and expanding post-secondary opportunities for them has become a critical need. As part of this effort, Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) has made education one of its four core priorities and will be participating in New Futuro’s College Prep Fair.
“Education is the key to building a better life. A strong foundation of learning can unlock doors to financial and personal success for Latinos,” said Maite Arce, HAF’s executive director. “Education is the critical centerpiece not only to the future of the Hispanic community but also to the country’s future.”
While Latinos aged 18 and under currently make up 23 percent of the country’s population, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that total to rise to 36 percent by 2020. As of 2010, only 13 percent of Hispanics held at least a bachelor’s degree, while 6.2 percent of full-time college students were Hispanic.
“The numbers tell us that more needs to be done to help Latinos gain access to higher-education opportunities,” said Arce. “Latinos want to go to college and parents place an extremely high value on education, but often times they lack the knowledge, resources or support to make it happen.”
Affordability is often one of the main barriers for Hispanics in attending or completing college. A Pew Research Center study found that 87 percent of Latinos identified lack of resources as a barrier to their higher education and career development.
As part of the College Prep Fair, HAF is providing workshops for parents and students on how to prepare for and finance higher education, including the use of financial aid, tax-free savings accounts and scholarships. Additionally, Arce is participating on the College Prep Fair’s panel discussion televised by Telemundo. In the exhibit hall, HAF has been providing laptop giveaways to those students who show their desire to go to college through HAF’s Facebook page.
This work has been an extension of HAF’s other work. In its tax education workshops, held throughout the county, HAF has helped parents and students get their financial documentation in order to apply for financial aid. The organization has also launched youth leadership development initiatives in Colorado.
“We need to make sure Hispanics understand how to navigate the university system,” said Arce. “They need the tools to tear down the roadblocks and continue on the college-degree path. If we don’t take action now, a vast segment of our country’s population will lack the education necessary to strengthen us as a whole.”
The next College Prep Fair, which takes place on Nov. 10 in Chicago, is one of several in a series that have taken place this fall. HAF has presented at the fairs in Miami, New York, Los Angeles and Houston.
According to research conducted by the American Cancer Society and the Intercultural Cancer Council, cancer is the second leading cause of death among Hispanic adults after heart disease. Hispanic women have two to three times the cervical cancer rates of non-Hispanic white women. Hispanic men and women have higher rates of stomach cancer than non-Hispanic populations. Lung cancer and breast cancer are the deadliest cancers among Hispanic men and Hispanic women, respectively.
Despite these alarming statistics, only 38% of Hispanic women age 40 and older regularly receive mammograms, and Hispanic women are less likely to receive regular pap smears than non-Hispanic white women. Deaths from breast and cervical cancers could easily be avoided if cancer screening rates increased among women at risk. Unfortunately, rates of preventive cancer screenings are proportionally linked to insurance coverage– the less insured an ethnic group is, the less likely they are to be screened. Latinos are the most likely of any ethnic in the United States to be under-insured due to a disproportionate lack of job-related insurance.
In response, HAF has launched “Juntos Podemos Contra El Cancer” (Together We Can Fight Cancer)—a national Spanish-language communications campaign financed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The campaign is designed to reach Spanish-speaking Latinos through both mass media channels and grassroots outreach activities, and strengthen links between community-based service providers and Latino communities. Ultimately the campaign’s objective is to increase cancer screening among Latinos and thereby decrease cancer mortality rates in Latino communities.
In support of the campaign HAF is actively seeking to expand partnerships with community health service providers and cancer screening centers. The campaign’s print, radio, Internet and cell phone messages will build awareness of the importance of cancer screening, and encourage the public to contact HAF’s helpline by phone or by email to find the location of their local cancer screening centers that provide bilingual or Latino-friendly services. In order to better serve the Latino community, HAF is therefore building its database of relevant cancer-related service providers.
If you or your organization provides health services to the Latino population, please join our newsletter and stay tuned for more campaign-related information. If you are not yet part of our service provider network, please contact us to become a member. If you provide cancer-related referrals or screening services, please be sure to join our network. Together we can make a difference!
November 19, 2012 by Jennifer Brandt
Latino Groups Commend Decision By Interior Secretary to Restrict Oil Shale Operations and Protect Colorado’s Water Supply
Clean water and healthier communities scored a crucial victory in Colorado on November 9, when Interior Secretary Ken Salazar decided to protect the state from oil shale speculation.
On Nov. 9, the Department of the Interior released a plan that would require oil shale companies to provide solid proof that their activities will balance the state’s economic and environmental needs before starting any commercial exploitation. Reversing a Bush-era decision that would have given industry free reign on 2 million acres of public lands, BLM’s plan effectively protects 1.6 million acres of public land, as well as areas of critical wildlife habitat.
Latino organizations, including the Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) and Nuestro Río, welcomed the Salazar decision and reminded the public about the Latino community’s overwhelming support for protection of public lands and the safety and reliability of their water supply.
“We needed a smart approach to oil shale development and Secretary Salazar deserves credit for making this a priority for Colorado, and for the state’s Latinos, which make up a significant portion of the state’s population and depend on the Colorado River and water supplies for their quality of life and economic opportunity,” said Maite Arce, executive director of HAF. “Costly, water-hungry oil shale speculation would put Western families’ health and safety at risk.”
According to a recent Sierra Club national survey conducted in cooperation with NCLR, more than nine in 10 (92%) Latino voters agree that they “have a moral responsibility to take care of God’s creation on this earth —the wilderness, the forests, the oceans, lakes and rivers.”
Also, the survey found that nearly seven in 10 (69%) Latino voters support presidential designations of more public land as national monuments.
“The Colorado River doesn’t just run through the Southwest, it runs through our culture and it nourishes our lives,” said Andrés Ramírez, Director at Nuestro Río. “Saving the Colorado River is about protecting our Latino heritage and promoting our future.”
Indeed, a survey by Colorado College conducted in Western states earlier this year revealed that 87 percent of Hispanics believe we can protect the environment at the same time we work for a strong economy.
In addition, the poll found that 89 percent of Hispanic respondents agreed that resources must be invested in preserving their state’s land, water and wildlife, regardless of the current budgetary crisis.
Estimates by the Government Accountability Office have projected that full-scale oil shale development could require more than 123 billion gallons of water each year, enough water for more than 750,000 households. Additionally, the mining and processing of oil shale can leach toxic metals and pollutants, such as lead and arsenic, into rivers and groundwater. BLM’s plan takes a step in the right direction by limiting the amount of public land that could be subjected to oil shale development. Rather than promoting high-risk, high-cost technologies like oil shale, we need to begin the transition to clean, efficient fuels that benefit both our economy and our land, water, and public health.
- By Javier Sierra
Article from SierraClub.org
Hispanic Access Foundation Announces the Second Winner of the New York New Futuro Laptop Photo Contest!
November 12, 2012 by Jennifer Brandt
In New York there was a tie for the number of the most likes, with both contestants getting more than 1,200 likes! We are now announcing our second winner, Miss Ana Rodriguez.
A little about Ana: She is Mexican- American and lives in the Bronx. She’s currently a 10th grader. At her high school she is studying design and construction because she wants to be an architect. She wants to go to college in Florida.
Her sister took her to the New Futuro event, after her Spanish teacher had encouraged her to go.
Hispanic Access Foundation participated in the New Futuro college prep fairs because we know that for families a college education is very important but that Hispanics are still not graduating from college at the rates this country needs for its economic future and prosperity.
How else has Hispanic Access Foundation be involved?
- Executive Director Maite Arce is served as an expert panelist on a televised Spanish-language discussion with parents and students regarding meaningful access to college
- HAF Board Member, Marta Sanchez and HAF team member Liz Neuenschwander gave presentations to parents and students titled, “Family Involvement in Education” and “Pathway to College.”
- H&R Block sponsored Hispanic Access’ involvement in the New Futuro events, so to find us follow the signs for the H&R Block booths and workshops.